World Journal of Chemical Education
ISSN (Print): 2375-1665 ISSN (Online): 2375-1657 Website: http://www.sciepub.com/journal/wjce Editor-in-chief: Prof. V. Jagannadham
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World Journal of Chemical Education. 2019, 7(3), 209-215
DOI: 10.12691/wjce-7-3-4
Open AccessCommentary

Astrochemistry as a Gateway to Teaching and Learning Threshold Concepts in Physical Chemistry

Wilson K. Gichuhi1,

1Department of Chemistry, Tennessee Tech University, 1 William L. Jones Dr., Cookeville, TN 38505

Pub. Date: July 08, 2019

Cite this paper:
Wilson K. Gichuhi. Astrochemistry as a Gateway to Teaching and Learning Threshold Concepts in Physical Chemistry. World Journal of Chemical Education. 2019; 7(3):209-215. doi: 10.12691/wjce-7-3-4

Abstract

The purpose of this paper is to examine the use of astrochemistry examples in teaching the potential threshold concepts (TCs) of physical chemistry that are contained in the recently published Physical Chemistry Anchoring Concepts Content Map (PChem-ACCM). The paper provides a brief overview of how selected astrochemical examples can be utilized to teach and learn suggested TCs that are commonly encountered in the three main overarching areas of physical chemistry curriculum, namely: chemical kinetics, quantum chemistry, and thermodynamics. Using astrochemical examples to decipher the abstract nature of the many fundamental physical chemistry concepts, which are usually accompanied by rigorous mathematical treatments, provides a rich ground in which to implement alternative teaching pedagogies and practices that can help the learner master the associated TCs.

Keywords:
Astrochemistry physical chemistry kinetics quantum chemistry thermodynamics curriculum

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